I believe that many individuals feel responsibility to reduce their impact on the planet. One major area where the developed world has a problem is with disposing of electronic equipment. The consumer world of electronics consists of cell phones, CD and DVD players, televisions, computers, audio equipment, and various portable electronic devices. I used to wonder what to do when one of these items broke down or, occasionally, when I simply needed or wanted to replace it with a newer, faster, more compatible equivalent.
The good news happened when I learned that Best Buy, at all its stores across the United States, accepts almost any electronic device for recycling. The accompanying video shows the processing to which they subject these devices. Best Buy accepts most electronics at no cost, and they do NOT need to have been purchased at Best Buy. There is a fee for accepting a television, unless a replacement is being purchased.
To be totally open about this, recycling electronics is better than tossing them into the garbage and ultimately into landfills, but there is still a price to the environment: plastic can never be truly recycled (and can be made non-toxic only by burning in special high-temperature ovens), and some heavy metals (read: toxic metals) that are in electronics are still being released into the environment. Still, most of the materials are being captured and used in the best way they can, while we know that plastics and heavy metals should not be used at all from the viewpoint of the best natural environment we can create.
I do have a television that is about 30 years old, and only has a single cable connection (none of the modern, 25-year-old connectors!) It is tempting to replace it with the latest flat screen that will have Internet and Netflix access built-in, so I can cancel my Verizon FIOS television plan and go totally online. But what stops me is the thought of creating e-waste, even if it is recycled.
So far, I have not taken action. But if I ever do, you can be sure that old television will be brought to Best Buy for recycling, as a partial solution to the environment issues.
If any readers have insight into the impact of recycled electronics, or the Best Buy program, or other alternatives, I welcome comments here.